Opal Creek (Stan Newman)

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Hike

Join us for a walk back in time to an ancient Oregon forest in one of the state’s signature Wilderness areas. *This special hike is for 2014 Oregon Wilderness Conference attendees. If you'd like to register for the conference click here!*

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5-7 miles
Elevation Gain: minimal
Leader: Jonathan Jelen
Location: Opal Creek Wilderness, Willamette National Forest

Just two hours from Portland, a hike into the old-growth groves of Opal Creek is like a walk back in time - to Oregon as it was before logging and development. Trees up to 250 feet high and 1,000 years old can be found here, as well as rare wildlife and beautiful waterfalls.

This amazing area is home to a tremendous diversity of fish, wildlife, and plants, including elk, black bears, and the endangered northern spotted owl. In addition to wildlife, hikers exploring Opal Creek can marvel at the sight of dozens of waterfalls, several lakes, and massive cedar and Douglas fir trees that were already ancient when Lewis and Clark first explored Oregon 200 years ago.

Though the rare old-growth forest and pristine waters of Opal Creek are today preserved as Wilderness, in the 1990s the region was the center of intense controversy over plans by the U.S. Forest Service to allow logging in this unspoiled area. The efforts of Oregon Wild and other conservation groups helped stop the logging and win Wilderness protection for Opal Creek in 1996. Find out more about the history of this magical place on this one-of-a-kind hike.

Hike is limited to 10 participants.

Help Oregon Wild continue to provide high-quality, guided hikes into Oregon's spectacular wildlands by making a small donation. Your support helps offset the costs of our hikes program, and ensures we can all continue to explore and enjoy Oregon's natural heritage. Suggested donation of $5 (Oregon Wild members) and $10 (non-members).

If you are unsure if your Oregon Wild membership is current, please call 503.283.6343 x 224 or 213. To join, please click here.

Opal Creek photo by Stan Newman.